I would like to request that the legislature oppose the proposed Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) draft model policies for the treatment of transgender students. While I certainly appreciate the difficulties of students facing gender dysphoria the proposed policies are not fair to their teachers & fellow students nor to them.
Students at this age are wont to change their minds (which is fair & normal) so teachers would readily find themselves unfairly charged with harassment on any given day.
With respect to their fellow students, it is entirely inappropriate to be introducing this to the majority of students who will not suffer from gender dysphoria as a state wide mandate. Most students are not concerned with nor interested in these matters and to introduce this to them is wrong at young ages. I have known many students to be overwhelmed by the information at young ages and labeled as something they are not if they do not "check the box" as something once introduced. The proposed agenda is far ahead of the AMA standards for natural development and introduction of these issues. Especially given that parents are not required to be informed first.
Students who have wrestled with gender dysphoria have been violated by this type of well intentioned proposal. Being too young to fully know their minds and bodies they have felt encouraged and emboldened by their academic institutions and have made dramatic decisions at impressionable ages to their disappointment & despair at adulthood. If we tell our youth that their minds are not fully developed enough to handle drugs and alcohol until age 25 (see all VA Drivers Ed requirements) then why would we encourage them to take hormones and consider transitioning at such young ages? We frown upon them drinking milk with hormones!?
Finally, this challenges Women's Rights. The transgender movement violates Title IX. The definition of “Gender identity” is completely subjective to each person claiming it, hence it cannot possibly be known by anyone except that person. Since it cannot be tested or ascertained by any objective method, nothing could prevent any student from constantly “changing” their “gender identity” to exploit many situations including athletics. Scientific data has found and worldwide athletic organizations have concluded that no amount of hormone therapy evens the playing field for a male athlete who identifies as a female. The Economist published articles throughout the Fall of 2020 to this effect, most recently: Liberalism and its contradictions (10/24/2020.) "Ending discrimination against one group of people should not depend on discriminating against another." Look no further than states that have passed these initiatives and note the rate at which female athletic records have been claimed by male athletes identifying as women. Our eldest daughter chases a 20 year track record at her high school that would undoubtedly be claimed by a mediocre male athlete within the year of this decision. It is already frustrating enough to train with male athletes much less compete against them. What are we telling our female athletes? We will lose them.
Please be very careful with our youth. There are a myriad of ways to help ALL of our youth navigate the difficulties of coming of age, this proposal is not one of them.